Lifting heavy is the key to weight loss because it promotes muscle growth. Losing fat involves increasing your metabolism and muscle plays a major role in that. Muscle burns fat four times more efficiently than the fat you have on your body. The more muscle you have, the more your body will be a furnace that burns up fat stores. The great effects from this type of workout are numerous on your mind and body, as heavy weight training:
Increases resting metabolic rate so you burn more calories during and after a workout. Makes you lean and slim since muscle takes up less space than fat. More muscle, less fat translates to smaller clothing sizes and that toned look. Strengthens bones and connective tissue, which will protect your body from aches, pains, and injuries.Builds the self-esteem and confidence you need to lift enough weight to stimulate muscle growth and get the results you desire.
The question is, how much should you be lifting to be considered heavy? To lose weight, it is recommended to lift between 60-80% of your 1-rep max to stimulate muscle growth and loose fat. If you do not know your 1-rep max, choose a weight that allows you to correctly perform 6-8 repetitions of an exercise for 3 sets.
The important thing to remember when it comes to strength training is that you must give your muscles more weight than they can handle— that's how muscles grow. The challenge of lifting heavy is just as much a mental game as it is a physical one. If you haven't pushed your body's limits in a while, just the act of lifting any weight may be all you can handle. But, if you're consistent with a basic program and build a solid foundation of strength, you'll be ready for the next step—pushing your muscles to their limits by lifting heavy. You'll be amazed at the changes in your body!
As first seen in Santa Barbara Fitness Magazine